What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, is a new illness, a virus, that can affect your lungs and airways.
Anyone who has symptoms, however mild, or is in a household where someone has symptoms, should not leave their house to go to work. Those people should self-isolate for seven days, as should those in their households for 14 days. The main symptoms of coronaviruse are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this mean's you've noticed you cannot taste or smell anything, or things taste or smell different to normal.
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
If you are concerned about your symptoms, or you feel you are unable to manage your symptoms at home, use the 111 online coronavirus service Use the 111 online coronavirus service. The 111 online coronavirus service will ask about your symptoms and tell you what to do.
Other things you can do to stop the infection spreading:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside
You can also download the Easy Read guidance explaining what coronavirus is and advice on what you should do.
For more information visit the Coronavirus page on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The government has updated their Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do.
Coronavirus fact sheet for children: Information for children to help them understand what Coronavirus is, the importance of hand washing and how to help stop the virus spreading is available on the Campaign Resource Centre. This was developed by the Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust. They have also made an animation to go with it.